Northern Kentucky leads state in heroin arrests in five-year analysis

Northern Kentucky is topping the charts for possession and heroin trafficking arrests in Commonwealth, according to the latest state police statistics.

The chart below shows graphically just how severe the heroin problem is in Northern Kentucky compared to Kentucky's other metropolitan areas, Louisville and Lexington. 

Over a five-year span, the numbers in the three Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell and Kenton have more than doubled, and Northern Kentucky still trumps other Kentucky metro areas as the hub of heroin possession and trafficking, according to Kentucky State Police statistics. The numbers are up to date through July.

Heroin use and trafficking have been on the rise since 2009 and the epidemic has reached a crisis stage, costing lives and millions in treatment, enforcement and health care. For jail cells alone, taxpayers are paying top dollar due to the heroin crisis. Each day spent in jail costs taxpayers between $28-$48.

In the chart below, possession means to have actual physical possession or otherwise to exercise actual dominion or control over a tangible object; trafficking means to manufacture, distribute, dispense, sell, transfer, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or sell a controlled substance.

Graphic by Bill Bullock | WCPO

READ MORE: Lethal dose: Kentucky may begin cracking down on heroin dealers whose customers overdose


For more stories and photos by Jessica Noll on issues impacting Northern Kentucky, visit or follow her on Twitter @JessicaWCPO.

Heroin: The Societal Cost is a series, pinpointing and documenting what the heroin epidemic is costing the Northern Kentucky region.

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